Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Friday, February 08, 2008

Floors and walls

It hasn't been as productive as I'd hoped, because of a whole heap of domestic problems involving floors! Indian ink on a cream carpet (ouch) and water damage to a wooden floor. Alas, that is in my study and I have to have the whole floor replaced. So a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth and more interruption to work.

On the plus side, I have done all the copy-edits for City of Secrets, written some extra scenes, commented on another round of jacket designs and written suggestions for 27 chapter-head illustrations.

And I've now read all the rest of my Christmas books: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell - so much better than After You'd Gone,One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson and Instances of the Number Three by Sally Vickers, which was better than the over-rated Miss Garnett's Angel but still containing characters one can't believe in, like the Shakespeare-quoting chimney sweep who is an ex English HMI.

And I've had two more fresco classes _ Ambrogio Lorenzetti's The Effects of Good Government and Mantegna's work in the palce at Mantua. Apparently it had 700 rooms and 15 courtyards!

I listened to a CD of the stage shows of The Boyfriend and Salad Days. The latter has the weirdest plot ever. Can you imagine anyone pitching it today: "Well, there are these privileged Oxbridge types who have just left university and don't really want jobs and two of them find a magic piano that makes people dance and then they get married and lose the piano and it's all right because a flying saucer comes along so they see where the piano has got to ..."

I've listened toa lot of music by Osvaldo Golijov (sp?) who was Composer of the Week on Radio 3. This comes on at the same time as You and Yours on Radio 4, which I never have to put up with any more now that I have a remote controlled digital radio. This composer is a Jew whose family came from somewhere in Eastern Europe but got out in time and emigrated to South America. The vocal music was sometimes banal but the instrumental pieces were sublime. One to explore further.

But by far the most exciting cultural event was Othello at the Donamr. Clever theatre daughter somehow got hold of tickets and we went on Wednesday. Chiwetel Ejiofor was a mesmerising moor and amazingly the Roderigo and Cassio were specially good. Euan McGregor was OK, but I didn't go for his sake.

Didn't get home till the early hours because of some Football Match clogging up the roads but it was well worth it. It was so soothing to see a production in 16th century dress and I liked the water sluicing over the stage at the beginning - McGregor had a good old slosh in it like Gene Kelly. I played Emilia in a student production at UCL in a proper theatre, and the lines came back.The Bianca travelled back on the same tube afterwards, which was a homely touch.


Post a Comment

<< Home